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We never stop learning - especially on boats! As a circumnavigator and maritime trainer I chat to a variety of sailors - boaties - yachties... people who love anything boating.... choose whichever noun you prefer. We find out what makes people on water tick and how they do it - from personal skills, juggling other aspects of life, to making it work financially. The achievements are big, whether they are making their cruising life a success or simply navigating their way through the troughs a ...
 
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We are 15 metres underground in a silent, echoing cave. Only the solemn plop of icy, freshwater can be heard, woven between our awed whispers. I take two big breaths, the chill of the encompassing sapphire water temporarily forgotten. Two metres down, with lungs bursting only moments after a big breath, I turn underwater to head through to the next…
 
Here's a woman currently planning to take off into the sunset, singlehanded on a boat she doesn't have yet! Her grounded son has his own adventures and his own path to follow, so it is Viki that will be 'leaving home' when the time is right. That time will come when she has replaced her current boat (the gorgeous and fast Wildwood (a Young 88 - one…
 
First stop, Salinas, an over-nighter from San Diego, into a new marina. The entrance is narrow and has a distinct ‘east coast of Australia bar’ feel, creating a strong desire to make use of a rather large blindfold. The marina is reasonable at $30 US per night, but there is no running water directly to each slip. The key advantage is the assistance…
 
It stole our hearts, we wanted to stay. The island's charm, the people, the way of life appealed to us both, although we tried we couldn't. We did make the most of our stay - dancing, lunching, sharing, making new friends, even doing the laundry became a cherished memory! Join us in Aitutaki... where the women chew tobaccy.....…
 
There are assorted methods to choose from to achieve the same thing. Whether at anchor, or in the mosquito-infested marina, there is a standard three days to complete all the paperwork. Once you have handed over all your dollars to anyone you meet, lied through your teeth, and signed your life away, you accomplish your “go through” date. Depending …
 
Behind schedule by three months (due to problems on terra firma not nautical) we hurriedly sailed 2,500 miles in six weeks to enable us to witness for ourselves why the San Blas is “a place to see”. We are also preparing for the Panama Canal experience, traversing the magnificent Pacific Ocean and heading home to Australia. We left Demopolis Alabam…
 
A successful ‘Flopper Stopper’ principally has to do two things. (1) Sink easily. (2) Resist an upward force. One simple method is to have a weighted horizontal door. The ‘door’ opens on the way down (sinks) and ‘closes’ on the up lift from the halyards, a bit like a one-way valve. I have plans, in my head, for a stainless steel flopper. Sort of li…
 
With unemotional precision and no time for niceties the facts are disseminated to the awaiting crews. The silence buffets between the groups and the adrenaline starts pumping as a few of us peek over the wall to the building seas that await us. Many of us are scribbling down the information and start swaying from foot to foot in impatience of ‘gett…
 
It's easy to judge people's decisions, especially those on the water. Being a Skipper must not be taken lightly. That little piece of paper saying you are a licenced Captain carries a heavy responsibility. As a Skipper, you are responsible for everything and everyone on board. You are responsible even when you are not onboard - and even for your cr…
 
We arrived Papeete the same day as Noel’s daughter, Mel arrived from Ayers Rock. We were nonchalant about the timing, only because we had not considered that marvellous innovation of the date line. After negotiating low flying aircraft, we chose the most popular anchorage, on the west of the island, south of French Polynesia’s Capital. Deep, clear …
 
‘Successful cruising is a matter of continual awareness’. This adage was not followed. Sitting at a beach bar, boasting about crossing oceans to the only people who care to listen, other cruisers, is not awareness. With my back firmly placed to the worrying scene of two dinghies porpoising in their attempts to ride the increasing swell, I figured t…
 
We may not have the refinement of fine arts but what we have is so much better. In a remote anchorage, with a welcoming beach and shady palms, where do we get our culture from here? Well these can be the best spots. Good anchorages will fill by the end of the day with Aussies; Pommies; Americans; Turks, Canadians, Dutch, Kiwis ad Infinitum. A potlu…
 
Recently, in the midst of teeth grinding fear I realised it was not the event itself causing my sleepless nights it was the lead up to it. It was the ‘what ifs’ that stirred up those little fear gremlins into a frenzy. I know this because during the event as we surfed down waves at twenty knots in the blackest of black nights, I spread my arms and …
 
Paradise - A word I try not to use often. Previously, we’ve visited a handful of islands without airports, cars, and supermarkets, but Suwarrow (pronounced sue-warh-row) has its own, unique, harmonic constant. The north-facing entrance has a low reef extending east of the wide bar that does a fantastic job of fending off the deep rolling swells. Th…
 
What does it take to load your family into a plane with masses of luggage to move onto a boat on the other side of the world! But, also, onto a boat which they haven't even seen yet (other than a photo!) This extraordinary story of courage, risk, and adventure is laced with advice and tips that will show you that it is possible. And Erin, with Dave…
 
Tanya Rabe lives onboard full time with her partner Anthony. Dogs and sailing are their passions and Tanya has combined both to bring you Dogs Who Sail. Her FB page and website are full of useful information, but this is different from the usual 'loving our pets' - it's all about the dogs! People seeking advice can receive tough love with regards t…
 
With each journey my soul is reshaped. I’ve bid farewell to places where I know I’ll miss the people and the lands, but also a part of me because I’ll never be that way again. I wonder what part of me I’ll leave in which corner of our natural Disneyland. And what new thoughts and outlooks I’ll collect to replace what I’ve left behind; refreshing my…
 
It takes guts to buy a boat in a country where you don't speak the language. This hurdle creates much more than just a language problem, the culture is something you have to learn and adapt to. Join us on our adventure of buying a boat, that took us through France, Holland, and back to France again. You'll giggle your way through this one.…
 
I found the nautical world so daunting I withdrew and became really shy. I couldn't cope with the new language and culture, and as a person who wasn't particularly 'handy' I struggled with boat maintenance. I look back at that time and realise it is helping me so much now. As a professional mariner, I went from one extreme to the other. Now I can h…
 
Modern technology is proving popular for communication onboard boats. It has its place but so does the HF/SSB (long-range) radio. I'd still have one on board today... from worldwide weather (free) to communication (free) and safety channels (free - and let's hope AMSA keeps them!) - this type of communication should be part of the safety plan on bo…
 
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